The rehearsal for Nunsense at Largo Cultural Center's Eight O'Clock Theatre was supposed to be mainly for musicians, but Thursday night the actors were happy to take center stage.
Five women in sensible shoes and wimples tested the sound system with loud "whoops" that come standard in their characters' lines and sang a capella while technicians checked audio levels.
It's a familiar routine for several of the actors and their director, Ron Zietz. But that doesn't mean it's so familiar that it's boring.
"It's been around a long time ... adapted for men, Las Vegas, and Christmas," Zietz said.
Nunsense has been translated into 21 languages and was declared "Best Off-Broadway Musical" by the Outer Critics Awards.
"This show's almost a classic," Zietz added, laughing at a joke from one of the "nuns" on stage. "As many times as I've seen it, I laugh every night."
Only two of the actors in Largo's version are new to their roles. The rest have played them in previous productions of Nunsense.
Sadra Bostick, who plays Sister Amnesia, performed Nunsense along with Val Sanford (Mother Superior) and Cheri Albury (Sister Robert Anne) 10 years ago with another community theater group at the old Seminole Rec Center.
"It's hysterical. The women have been together so long. The show can appeal to any age," Bostick said. "Whether Catholic or not, you'll be able to appreciate it."
The play's plot is based on the efforts of the Little Sisters of Hoboken, who set up a fundraiser to bury their sisters killed by convent cooking. Sister Julia (Child of God) poisoned them accidentally.
In order to raise the money for burials, the nuns decide to have a variety show, so they plan to use the Mount Saint Helen's School auditorium. However, the auditorium happens to be set up for the eighth-grade's production of Grease.
In the course of the play, you'll also meet Sister Mary Hubert (Stephanie Fox) and Sister Mary Leo (Lily MacKenzie).
According to Sanford, the Mother Superior, it's vital that you attend the event.
"Please come out and see us at our fundraiser. You're in for a bundle of laughs and lots of good singing. I'll see you then! God bless you!" she said.
Sadra Bostick jokingly added, "Maybe they'll have confessionals set up at intermission so you can take care of both of your Catholic needs at once."
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Where: Eight O'Clock Theatre at Largo Cultural Center
When: Friday through Sunday and July 15-18. Thursday-Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $26, $23.50 group (10 or more), $16 student (19 and under)
For tickets or more information: Call the box office (727) 587-6793.